Monday, November 30, 2009

December 1st - World AIDS Day

A Franciscan Prayer to Mark World Aids Day


Lord, make me an instrument of peace:

What concrete steps can we take to promote peace and reconciliation in situations of conflict, violence and sexual exploitation to help reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS and promote a culture of peace and reconciliation?

Where there is hatred, let me sow love:

How can Franciscans and religious leaders create welcoming communities of faith for persons living with HIV/AIDS and those affected by AIDS and eliminate all instances of discrimination and social stigma?

Where there is injury, pardon:

Do we hold those who are living with HIV/AIDS as evil, immoral persons? How can we set them free and allow them to discover the face of God in their current situations?

Where there is division, unity:

Do our fears and prejudices lead us to commit acts of violence against our sisters and brothers living with HIV/AIDS?

Where there is darkness (untruth), light (truth):

Can we preach and speak about HIV/AIDS openly, exploring its origins, its impact, and the fears we have about it? Can we begin to speak the truth in the light, in our parish communities, our religious houses, and everywhere?

Where there is doubt, true faith:

Can we reach out to one another, particularly our brothers and sisters living with HIV/AIDS, in a way that restores faith in God? Can we draw upon the power of resurrection to remove all fears, fears of contagion that lead us to reject or withdraw our love and support from persons living with HIV/AIDS?

Where there is despair, hope:

How are we fostering communities of hospitality, receptivity, and healing where our brothers and sisters can find 'home', a place of welcoming and love.

Where there is sadness, new joy:

Do we recognize the power and grace in our brothers and sisters living with HIV/AIDS? Do we allow ourselves to be 'evangelized' and transformed by the witness of our sisters and brothers living with HIV/AIDS?

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